The metaverse introduces cybersecurity problems companies must address, from identity and privacy to moderation and physical security.
What is the metaverse? Virtual vs. augmented reality metaverse experiences
The metaverse can be defined as a virtual environment in which people connect, interact and shop. This convergence of the digital and physical world stems from the Greek meta, meaning beyond or after, and verse, short for universe.
There are two main forms of the metaverse:
- Virtual reality provides an artificial reality via a VR headset. It takes over the user’s field of vision to provide an immersive experience. Other forms of immersive experiences include audio and positional tracking of the body to enable movement of body parts, such as the hands, to interact with the virtual environment.
- Augmented reality (AR) is less immersive than VR. It adds virtual overlays on top of the real world via a lens of some type. Users still have a normal view of their surroundings. AR examples include a smartphone using the Waze app or a wearable such as Microsoft’s HoloLens. The host can see a user’s location and can guess their intentions. Privacy expectations are higher than in VR.
It is important to note that VR experiences generally have no expectation of privacy, whereas privacy expectations are more commonly expected in AR environments.